For many, an evening out at a bar can mean a chance to catch up with friends, maybe play some bar games, perhaps win a few free drinks playing trivia. For others, a trip to the bar is made with one simple goal in mind: to not go home alone. Houston has a bustling bar scene, one packed with twenty- and thirtysomethings looking for nothing more than a one-night stand. These are the ten best hookup bars the city has to offer. And yes, it’s going to be very big on Midtown and Washington bars.
10. LITTLE WOODROW’S MIDTOWN
This particular Woodrow’s is a rarity in Midtown, in that there’s not much of a dress code, you can bring your dog and, thanks to an ample patio, there’s room to roam. This provides a chance to come as you are and mingle with potential hookups. That holds particularly true on Thursday nights from March until November, when weekly turtle races pack in flocks of eligible bachelors and bachelorettes. (2306 Brazos, midtown.littlewoodrows.com)
9. KUNG FU SALOON
There’s hit-and-miss potential here. Some nights, Kung Fu is absolutely bumping with men and women alike. On occasion, however, it turns into a bit of a sausage fest. Oh well, on those rare occasions, fellas can sidle up to any number of free arcade games with their buddies and pass the time playing NBA Jam or Street Fighter 2. (5317 Washington, kungfusaloonhouston.com)
8. DIRT BAR
Come on, any bar with a name like The Dirt Bar is bound to have hookup potential. That holds particularly true on nights when House of Blues, which resides across the street, hosts a concert. And considering House of Blues hosts concerts damn near every night of the week, it’s a safe bet a number of concert revelers will be ducking into Dirt Bar afterward looking for a cold drink and, potentially, some nice company. (1209 Caroline, dirtbar.com)
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7. KOMODO PUB
Another rarity in Midtown, in that Komodo Pub is a laid-back bar with reasonably priced drinks. In short, if Midtown isn’t really your thing but you find yourself down there for whatever reason, this is the place to be. Who knows, you may even strike up a conversation with someone with similar sentiments. And, oh yeah, Komodo has a photo booth in the back, so do with that information what you will. (2004 Baldwin, facebook.com/komodopub)
6. F BAR
One of Houston’s premiere gay nightclubs, F Bar features such weekly events as Latin Night and a drag show. Coupled with nightly DJs and a bumping dance floor, F Bar – nestled on the border of Montrose and Midtown – is a great hookup spot six nights a week (the club is closed on Mondays). (202 Tuam, fbarhouston.com)
Hey, country folks like to hook up too, and besides, most of the folks who populate this honky-tonk on Washington aren’t country anyway. Point being, country bars are tailor-made for two things – dancing and drinking – each of which has spawned plenty of romance. And even on nights when a hookup just isn’t in the cards, the music is great and the crowd is among the liveliest in Houston. (5002 Washington, rebelshouston.com)
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Barbarella really packs in a diverse crowd. Some folks are just there to dance. Others are there to catch up with friends while attempting to talk over the music. Some just order drinks and stand awkwardly in the corner. Whatever your preference, Barbarella – a sort of dive nightclub, if that makes sense – caters to it. Plus, the bar service ranks among the best in town. (2404 San Jacinto, facebook.com/barbarellahtx)
3. SOUTH BEACH
Any bar that offers Stripper Fridays is bound to play well on the hookup circuit, and South Beach — among the liveliest gay bars in town — does just that. With a circus ring leader, male dancers galore and no cover, it’s a safe bet hookups aplenty are going down at South Beach every Friday night. (810 Pacific, southbeachthenightclub.com)
2. 13 CELSIUS
Not a hookup bar in the traditional sense, 13 Celsius is more of destination for those who find love (or lust) online. Hell, the Houston Press wrote an article about its status as Houston’s unofficial Tinder bar only three months ago. So if you’re in Midtown and happen to get a mutual swipe right, meet up here. The bar’s track record indicates you won’t be the only one. (3000 Caroline, 13celsius.com)
1. 3RD FLOOR/IRISH COWBOY/PUB FICTION
Could it really be anywhere else? These three places, all Midtown institutions, are nestled next to one another in the heart of Midtown. On weekends, they are loud, they are packed and they are jumping. They are meat markets in every sense of the words, and if you’re in the mood for a hookup, brave the crowds and do your thing. You’ll have plenty of company. Note: Pub Fiction is temporarily closed for renovations. (2303 Smith, 3rdfloorhouston.com; facebook.com/irishcowboyhouston; pubfiction.com)